Al Iannazzone of the New York Newsday tweeted on Friday:
Jeremy Lin has officially signed his offer sheet with the Rockets. The Knicks will have three days to match it.— Al Iannazzone (@Al_Iannazzone) July 13, 2012
According to David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Rockets changed their original four-year, $28 million offer and back-loaded the third year of the deal.
Aldridge tweeted on Friday:
Lin will get $5M in year one, $5.225M in year two and $14.898M in year three. Rockets hoped that will discourage NY, but Knicks will match.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 13, 2012
Lin, a restricted free agent, averaged 18.2 points, 7.7 assists and two steals in 25 starts for the Knicks last season while shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 34 percent from downtown. Although he wasn't available for the playoffs due to injury, he was a big part of the Knicks' making the playoffs, as they racked up wins late in the season once he took charge of the offense.
The Rockets were smart to back-load the offer, but it likely won't sway the Knicks from matching, as Aldridge mentioned. New York is prepared to break the bank for Lin, Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler in 2014, whose combined salaries threaten to place them in luxury-tax territory. Then again, Lin does bring a lot of money to the franchise off the court as a marketing icon.
If the Knicks match, they will have the recently acquired Jason Kidd to mentor the 23-year-old floor general. In fact, when the Knicks signed Kidd, the writing was essentially on the wall that they would be bringing back Lin.
For the Rockets it's certainly worth a shot to pry Lin from New York. At the very least, they will make life difficult for the Knicks in 2014.
It's going to be interesting to see what the Knicks do next, with Lin's offer sheet and down the road.
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